02 May 2011

Using hearing aids - Doctor's opinion important

GPs and ENTs have a great influence on people's decision to use hearing aids.

Recommendations from a GP, an ENT doctor or an audiologist play a significant role when a hearing impaired person decides to use hearing aids; especially the GP. These are the findings of a survey carried out in the United Kingdom which included almost 15,000 people.

In the survey 58% of hearing aid users said that their GP influenced their decision. 42% and 40% respectively said that an ENT-doctor and an audiologist influenced their decision.

At the same time, only 31% of the hearing impaired had their hearing tested by their GP during a physical exam within the last 12 months. Among those who do not use hearing aids, only 20% had their hearing tested when having a physical exam at the GP's.

Germany and France

Similar studies have been carried out in Germany and France. Here, GPs and ENT doctors also played a major role in people's decision to begin using hearing aids.

“The survey documents the important role of the GP and the ENT-doctor. I can therefore only urge medical professionals to be aware that one in eight of their patients self-report that they are hard of hearing and that more than 60% of them do not use hearing aids even though it is well documented by many surveys that hearing aids improve hearing, social life and quality of life” said Secretary General Søren Hougaard, EHIMA The European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association.

About the survey

The study, which was published in 2010, was carried out by the Swiss analysts Anovum on behalf of EHIMA, The European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association. Around 15,000 people were involved in the study in Germany, France and England respectively and were asked about their hearing and use of hearing aids.

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